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Pati Jinich has a mission to share authentic Mexican cuisine with the world. As host of two PBS food lines, Pati’s Mexican Table and La Frontera with Pati JinichThe 50-year-old chef has been sharing not only food but also her culture and traditions with viewers for over a decade.
“Every season Pati’s Mexican Table“I’m going to a different part of Mexico, which is incredibly impressive,” Jinich told Yahoo Life. La Frontera“We’re exploring the border between the United States and Mexico.”
“It’s incredibly humble because we have this idea of what borders are, what Mexico is – and then we get there and there’s so much depth, so much wealth and so much diversity,” he said. “I like going to restaurants, but what I like most is going to people’s houses.”
Of all the incredible meals that Jinich has cooked and eaten, a homemade meal in El Paso, Texas is the one that stands out the most. “One of the most delicious mornings I had when we came back La Frontera ” she says, “I visited a friend named Alfredo Corchado, he is a journalist, and he told me all the nice things about border communities and how they are so tight. What he kept talking about was how he started his day every morning with his mom – how he was an immigrant farmer from Mexico who lived in California and moved to El Paso and made a living there – he really took root there. So I said, “I think I want to start my morning with your mom, can I invite myself?”
Corchado’s mother gladly agreed to allow Jinich to attend their morning delivery.
“It was one of the finest mornings,” he says. “He had freshly made coffee and then made breakfast taco with hot corn tortillas. Spread on fried beans, add some Mexican eggs with tomato, jalapeño and onion, top with a little chile Verde and add cheese. .. these taco entered the episode, they were so good “.
“Through these tacos, I could eat caring and caring,” he adds, “how he keeps the traditions from where he comes from.” Jinich says it is an emotion she has experienced: Through food, she has found ways to keep her own culture and traditions alive, even when she lives far from her hometown of Mexico City.
“When I first got married, we moved to Dallas and I was not a good cook at all,” she admits. “I was always a good phage, but I wanted to be a political analyst; when I came to the US, I could not go back to Mexico for a while as I was sorting my papers – when you are. , for about a year and a half, I could not return. I longed for our food, our family meals and our culture. “
This craving for home flavors pushed Jinich into the kitchen to bring some Mexico to her new home in the US
“I started with caldo de pollo (a chicken-vegetable soup served with tortillas) and then started making frijoles de olla (beans in a pot) with Mexican red rice – this food really helped me feel at home and with helped me feel well I started with the basics, really soothing food. “
As a person who has immigrated to the US from Mexico, the experiences that Jinich helps to share on screen are very close to her. “Being a Mexican in the US, living here for over 20 years and having my kids born and raised here, I feel like Mexicans in the US look [by their fellow Mexicans] as those who left“But Mexicans living in the US are [seen by people in the U.S.] as those who he came – is not from here – and I feel that this gap lives on every second La Frontera. “
La Frontera, which she calls her “greatest passion,” is a series of documentaries that showcase cuisine and culture from the US-Mexico border cities: Cities, Jinich says, have unique stories, struggles and food. The show, which premieres for a second season in the spring of 2023 on PBS, takes place in border towns in California, Arizona and New Mexico.
“You have border communities, constantly not from here, not from there, but 200% from everywhere,” explains Jinich. “I think these communities are so hard to understand: I found it fascinating that at the border are not just Americans and Mexicans, but people and cuisines from all over the world. It is like a third dimension that opens La Frontera: A different way of life and coexistence and to see how unbelievably the people there support each other “.
Today, Jinich is an inspirational chef awarded by the James Beard Foundation, but it did not start that way.
“I remember learning how to make Mexican red rice,” he recalls. “I was in Dallas talking to anyone at the grocery store who I saw buying Mexican ingredients because I was not a good cook. I met this woman from Puebla, Mexico who bought as many jalapeño as I did and I asked her, “What are you cooking? What do you do with them?
“She said she liked to put them on top of her red rice to suck all the flavor out of the broth,” she continues. “I told her I was trying to make Mexican red rice forever, and I could not do it right: She invited me to her house to make rice with her. We went step by step.”
As Jinich prepares for the release of the 11th season Pati’s Mexican Table, thinks how much she has learned about her homeland. In this season of the series, Jinich travels to areas of Mexico that have been little explored by the media to share incredible stories and families who have been making the same food forever.
Although she likes everything, Jinich says that Central Mexican food is more like home.
“There are so many local cuisines in Mexico,” he says. “You have Oaxacan cuisine that is very rich and complex, you have Yucatecan, which is charred, habaneros and citrus, Central Mexico, which is very rich but at the same time discreet – very family friendly and homely and not that incredibly complicated. ».
“I think central Mexican food is the kind that everyone would be more familiar with,” he adds.
Jinich says her mission is to help people understand that Mexican food has so much more than they think.
“I think people are stuck with the idea that Mexican food is tacos and guacamole, but there are 100 different types of tacos and so many different types of salsas and guacamoles,” he says. “And there’s a lot more to it – there are vegetarian dishes, cereals, beans, vegetables, fruits, different regions and ingredients – I really think Mexican food is the most stereotypical, but it has a lot more to offer if people dig a little more “.
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